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#ActualHodgman

Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:37 PM

again, it's singling out the US in response to very multilateral new UN sanctions.

Of course they're going to single out the US -- they're at war with the US. The US initiated the sactions (so they take the role of the complainant, and the other nations he jury), and the only reason the sanctions are allowable is because NK is at war with the South and the US. It's not really that whacky for them to be singling out their wartime enemies, without whom there would by definition be no conflict.

Once again, this is not the United States and North Korea, this is the broader international community... and North Korea. If the US can get China and Russia to agree on something involving a country they share a border with, it's kind of a big deal.

Yes it's a big deal, but it's a complete fallacy to try and derive further meaning from it, such as that this means that one side or another is the sole belligerent.
This just means that it's likely in China/Russia's best interests to go along with the containment efforts for whatever reason. You can't extend that to any kind of moral truth. Maybe they make more money from NK being contained? Maybe it's bad for politics to be seen as 'backing' NK? Maybe they wanted NK to win, but know they can't, and just don't want hem to get hurt?

I've had a friend beaten up by thugs robbing his home, who told him to shut up and stay down. Everyone else in the room did shut up and werent harmed. Even though it's unjust, I'd tell him to cooperate, but instead he sat there insulting the guy, and getting more beaten, in a repeating loop, until he was almost killed. Apparently his warped idea of honor was more valuable than his own safety... It's obvious that his insults were provocation, and I'm seemingly sided with the thugs in encouraging cooperation, but you can't make moral judgement from those facts. I'm siding with the devil for the greater good, and his provocations were in response to the greater provocation of a home invasion.

Sorry, but saying someone is the belligerent party because the UN passed sanctions against them is just silly...

As mentioned before, the US defies the UN when they feel like it (and no one can challenge them, due to veto power) and in their self-aggrandizing monologue this is seen as right and just. So this is even contradictory from a US point of view.

Even the Venezuelan government has called for a relaxation on both sides, rather than blaming the US, and their President accuses the US of plotting to frame him for the assassination of his main opponent. If Nicolas Maduro can't bring himself to call on the US by name to reduce its threats (implicitly blaming the US), then the US probably isn't the belligerent party.

whoa, wait... Who said they're the belligerent party? I said there's a war going on where both sides are using previous threats to justify new threats, and that each side is twisting counter-threats into wild direct-threats.
Quit with the "if you question America then you hate America" stuff. It's worse than Hitler comparisons....

)and then say that were going to launch some rockets and explode nuclear weapons "aimed at the United States", that the time for talk was over, and declare that "Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."

*Sigh* No. They said there were going to test rockets, satellites and nukes. And that these displays of force are their response to useless and harmful US dialog.

All signs point to these statements, which have fueled the crisis, are intentionally provocative.

yes they're provocative, just as many Southern or US actions are provocative. They're both provoking each other into provoking each other. From their own points of view, their own provokations are justified and their enemy's are wild, destabilizing and careless.
The second paragraph in the OP's news story basically says "NK threatened SK, in response to threats that SK made against NK, which referenced previous threats".
It's ridiculous to say one side or another is the provocative one, when the instances being cited here are all counter threats.

SK says that NK won't survive. NK says if SK attacks, they'll bath in a sea of fire. Even though this is unarguably a counter-threat, warning against SK aggression, you're saying that it can only be viewed as NK provocation. Even if locally, we see that it's in repose to some absolutely crazy SK provocation, you just take a few steps back on the timeline (which again, is more intertwined counter counter threats)... If you can't put yourself in NK's shoes, that's fine, but don't pretend you're being objective in that case.

KCNA is the primary way the North Korean government publically communicates to the outside world, and nearly the only way.

theyre still translations of internal propaganda, so an interested reader should still take into account that they're going to reflect that style. They also don't count on their statements being mis-quoted or selectively edited by the western press to change their meaning... One thing that the English site allows us citizens to do is check the original sources so that we can spot our own propaganda.

Western media mostly quotes KCNA directly, and sometimes jumps to conclusions about what it says, but far less often than "just as much". Looking at whitehouse.gov and what Jay Carney says vs the KCNA statements, I have to say the North Korean government does an excellent job of making themselves seem crazy. The idea that there are equal amounts of propaganda is absurd.

Take any of the articles that talk about the NK having made threats to Nuke the US. Note that there is no context -- threats need context and demands, you don't just say "I'll shoot", you say "gimmie your money or I'll shoot" -- the article will not explain why NK would've made nuclear threats or what they were supposedly demanding, nor will it explain that it was presented only as a reminder that it is a hypothetical military option, as part of a threat that demanded that the South not stop making threats about invading the North, or conducting rocket attacks...
Now copy any sentence from the article and paste it into google. Notice there are often dozens to hundreds of syndicated clones of these stories.
That's widespread propaganda, which absolutely dwarfs the output of KNCA...

The reason I posted here originally is because I could not find a source for the alleged direct nuclear threats -- which are now so widespread and hyped up that I know people canceling their holidays to Thailand in case WW3 breaks out...

The US sent bombers after the North exploded an honest-to-God nuclear bomb, and launched a satellite which the international community, not just the US, associates with ICBM development. The idea that they're being the aggressor here is supported by repeated UNSC resolutions, and the almost complete lack of condemnation for the US actions balanced against substantial global condemnation for North Korean actions, not just what Western media has been saying. They're not the belligerent party only if you believe "'Sanctions' mean a war and a declaration of war against us."is true.

Again, that's just being completely one sided and failing to put yourself in their shoes. Regardless of why the US sent bombers, their so-called "nuclear threat" did reference said bombers as provocation.
Again, them developing this technology is only so damn bad because they're in a war with the US. If Indonesia was testing nukes, they'd be copping all the usual environmental flak, and the usual condemnation that it's not a nice thing to do, but they would not be blockaded for it. Developing a nuke when you're at war with the US is very different - everyone just wants them to stay down, but they're intent on getting back up, and we're all worried it'll turn into another fight. Assigning blame for this require going back though Korea's entire history and stopping at some arbitrary point. You may as well blame Germany for causing Russia to be so strong that they were able to help in the war against Japan. Without that, Korea wouldn't have been divided and there'd be no war.
There is a war between NK and the US. It's a relic of the cold war that just won't go away. The US has nukes (and did test conduct tests and ICBM development during the war) and the other side is very slow to catch up. Again, if you shoot someone in the leg and watch them pick up a gun... You could blame them picking up he gun for why you had to shoot the chest, or their side will probably blame you for shooting them in the leg in the first place... Internally, they've got a very good reason for developing military technology - they're at war with two very technologically advanced countries, that's just hte logical strategy, not provocation as far as they're concerned. From their point of view, living under nuclear threat with no countermeasure for 50 years is provocation, and their research is just an obvious reaction to it.

#1Hodgman

Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:24 PM

again, it's singling out the US in response to very multilateral new UN sanctions.

Of course they're going to single out the US -- they're at war with the US. The US initiated the sactions (so they take the role of the complainant, and the other nations he jury), and the only reason the sanctions are allowable is because NK is at war with the South and the US. It's not really that whacky for them to be singling out their wartime enemies, without whom there would by definition be no conflict.

Once again, this is not the United States and North Korea, this is the broader international community... and North Korea. If the US can get China and Russia to agree on something involving a country they share a border with, it's kind of a big deal.

Yes it's a big deal, but it's a complete fallacy to try and derive further meaning from it, such as that this means that one side or another is the sole belligerent.
This just means that it's likely in China/Russia's best interests to go along with the containment efforts for whatever reason. You can't extend that to any kind of moral truth. Maybe they make more money from NK being contained? Maybe it's bad for politics to be seen as 'backing' NK? Maybe they wanted NK to win, but know they can't, and just don't want hem to get hurt?

I've had a friend beaten up by thugs robbing his home, who told him to shut up and stay down. Everyone else in the room did shut up and werent harmed. Even though it's unjust, I'd tell him to cooperate, but instead he sat there insulting the guy, and getting more beaten, in a repeating loop, until he was almost killed. Apparently his warped idea of honor was more valuable than his own safety... It's obvious that his insults were provocation, and I'm seemingly sided with the thugs in encouraging cooperation, but you can't make moral judgement from those facts. I'm siding with the devil for the greater good, and his provocations were in response to the greater provocation of a home invasion.

Sorry, but saying someone is the belligerent party because the US passed sanctions against them is just silly...

As mentioned before, the US defies the UN when they feel like it (and no one can challenge them, due to veto power) and in their self-aggrandizing monologue this is seen as right and just. So this is even contradictory from a US point of view.

Even the Venezuelan government has called for a relaxation on both sides, rather than blaming the US, and their President accuses the US of plotting to frame him for the assassination of his main opponent. If Nicolas Maduro can't bring himself to call on the US by name to reduce its threats (implicitly blaming the US), then the US probably isn't the belligerent party.

whoa, wait... Who said they're the belligerent party? I said there's a war going on where both sides are using previous threats to justify new threats, and that each side is twisting counter-threats into wild direct-threats.
Quit with the "if you question America then you hate America" stuff. It's worse than Hitler comparisons....

)and then say that were going to launch some rockets and explode nuclear weapons "aimed at the United States", that the time for talk was over, and declare that "Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."

*Sigh* No. They said there were going to test rockets, satellites and nukes. And that these displays of force are their response to useless and harmful US dialog.

All signs point to these statements, which have fueled the crisis, are intentionally provocative.

yes they're provocative, just as many Southern or US actions are provocative.
The second paragraph in the OP's news story basically says "NK threatened SK, in response to threats that SK made against NK, which referenced previous threats".
It's ridiculous to say one side or another is the provocative one, when the instances being cited are all counter threats.

SK says that NK won't survive. NK says if SK attacks, they'll bath in a sea of fire. Even though this is unarguably a counter-threat, warning against SK aggression, you're saying that it can only be viewed as NK provocation. Even if locally, we see that it's in repose to some absolutely crazy SK provocation, you just take a few steps back on the timeline (which again, is more intertwined counter counter threats)... If you can't put yourself in NK's shoes, that's fine.


KCNA is the primary way the North Korean government publically communicates to the outside world, and nearly the only way.

theyre still translations of internal propaganda, so an interested reader should still take into account that they're going to reflect that style. They also don't count on their statements being mis-quoted or selectively edited by the western press to change their meaning... One thing that the English site allows us citizens to do is check the original sources so that we can spot our own propaganda.


Western media mostly quotes KCNA directly, and sometimes jumps to conclusions about what it says, but far less often than "just as much". Looking at whitehouse.gov and what Jay Carney says vs the KCNA statements, I have to say the North Korean government does an excellent job of making themselves seem crazy. The idea that there are equal amounts of propaganda is absurd.

Take any of the articles that talk about the NK having made threats to Nuke the US. Note that there is no context -- threats need context and demands, you don't just say "I'll shoot", you say "gimmie your money or I'll shoot" -- the article will not explain why NK wouldve made nuclear threats, not will it explain that it was presented as a hypothetical military option as part of a threat that demanded that the South not make statements about attacking the North...
Now copy any sentence from the article and paste it into google. Notice there are often dozens to hundreds of syndicated clones of these stories.
That's widespread propaganda, which absolutely dwarfs the output of KNCA...

The reason I posted here originally is because I could not find a source for the alleged direct nuclear threats -- which are now so widespread and hyped up that I know people cacelling their holidays to Thailand in case WW3 breaks out...

The US sent bombers after the North exploded an honest-to-God nuclear bomb, and launched a satellite which the international community, not just the US, associates with ICBM development. The idea that they're being the aggressor here is supported by repeated UNSC resolutions, and the almost complete lack of condemnation for the US actions balanced against substantial global condemnation for North Korean actions, not just what Western media has been saying. They're not the belligerent party only if you believe "'Sanctions' mean a war and a declaration of war against us."is true.

Again, that's just being completely one sided and failing to put yourself in their shoes. Regardless of why the US sent bombers, their so-called "nuclear threat" did reference said bombers as provocation.
Again, them developing this technology is only so damn bad because they're in a war with the US. If Indonesia was testing nukes, they'd be copping all the usual environmental flak, and the usual condemnation that it's not a nice hint to do, but they would not be blockaded for it. Developing a nuke when you're at war with the US is very different - everyone just wants them to stay down, but they're intent on getting back up, and we're all worried it'll turn into another fight. Assigning blame for this require going back though Korea's entire history and stopping at some arbitrary point. You may as well blame Germany for causing Russia to be somstrong that they were able to help in the war against Japan. Without that, Korea wouldn't have been divided and there'd be no war.
There is a war between NK and the US. It's a relic of the cold war that just won't go away. The US has nukes (and did test conduct tests and ICBM development during the war) and the other side is very slow to catch up. Again, if you shoot someone in the leg and watch them pick up a gun... You could blame them picking up he gun for why you had to shoot the chest, or their side will probably blame you for shooting them in the leg in the first place... Internally, they've got a very good reason for developing military technology - they're at war with two very technologically advanced countries, that's just he logical war strategy, not provocation as far as they're concerned. From their point of view, living under nuclear threat with no countermeasure for 50 years is provocation, and their research is just an obvious reaction to it.

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